Monday, January 23, 2017


I can tell you've been practicing letter sounds and sight words with your kids at home!  You've been at the memorization game with your kiddo for a few months now, and you might be ready for a few extra resources to keep your kindergartner motivated and excited to learn.  Whether your student is working on memorizing letter sounds or sight words, linked below are unique ideas and games for your kindergartner.  Click the pictures for explanations and resources.

Helpful memorization hints:
  • start with a few letter sounds or sight words at a time, once your child has memorized one replace it with a new flashcard
  • get your kids moving!  Movement during learning adds an extra element that helps to cement the concept.

ABC Flashcards with Zoophonics Hint
ABC Flashcards - Letters Only
ABC Flashcard Generator - create custom ABC flashcards (capital only, lowercase only, etc)
Kindergarten  & 1st Grade Sight Words Flashcards (the kindergarten words are the first 25 words listed)

Swat It!
No bowling pins?  Use recyclables.
Rainbow Hop
Out of bean bags?  Use a stuffed animal.

This blog: No Time for Flashcards has endless ideas for getting your kiddo moving and learning.  Search by grade and subject for high-interest activities.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ST Math

Have you heard about Jiji?  Spatial Temporal Math (ST Math) is a game based online learning program that has ACS students swept up in a learning frenzy.  Kindergarten students begin by learning an 8 icon password.  After they play a few modules they learn the rest of their 13 icon password.  Students will only be able to access their account at home after they have learned all 13 characters.  Playing two full objectives at school before playing at home help make sure they can navigate the system comfortably.

  1. Download the free ST Math app in the app store (only for tablets) or go to
  2. Click Jiji.  Your student can begin entering their unique 13 icon password.  If he/she is having trouble with this I can help them at school the following day.  
  3. Play!  Our kindergarten in-class goal is for students to play for at least 60 minutes per week. Playing at home will help students ACHIEVE their awards even faster and reach 100% completion of the kindergarten curriculum by the end of the year.  Prizes are given to students when they reach 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% completion.    
More detailed directions with pictures can be found here.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Lexia Core5

Your kiddos are ready to log onto Lexia Core5 at home!  

Lexia is an amazing online program we use to teach literacy.  It meets your student right at their skill set and delivers game formatted lessons to help your child reach the next level.  Achievers are hooked.  Here are the steps to get started at home:

  1. Download the free Lexia Core5 app in the app store (not available for phones) or go to
  2. Your first visit you will need to enter my email address to link up to my class account:
  3. Your student's username is their first name and last name initial (all together). ALL LOWERCASE, the password is just their first name.  Students are learning to do their logins independently - so let them try at home too.  
For an example Mickey Mouse's login information would be: 

username: mickeym
password: mickey

Let your kids play away!  We try to get about 40 minutes of play time in per week.  As students pass their levels, we celebrate in class.   If your child is struggling with a concept I will get a notice on my end - we will bring them up to speed on those areas at school.  You may help your child work through the answers, teach strategies to rule out incorrect answers, but please do not just give the answers.  In the past parents have had their kids earn extra Lexia time at home - so dangle that educational carrot!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Calming First Day Jitters

The kindergarten countdown is on!  Your kindergartner's countdown chain is growing smaller, and so is my to-do list - it's almost time to welcome in a new batch of recruits.  Here are some ideas to calm first day jitters.
  • Take a low-key approach.  It’s natural to be excited about your child starting kindergarten, but talking about it too much can actually make him more anxious. 
  • Compare Kindergarten to something familiar such as preschool.  Explain that kindergarten will be a place where he will make friends, play with new toys, and learn.
  • Get familiar with the school.  Attend your child’s PLP Conference together, bring your student to Orientation, come to our Ice Cream Social. 
  • Put a family photo in your child’s backpack.
  • Create an easy-to-follow morning routine.  Establish a regular early bedtime, and allocate time in the morning for a healthy breakfast. 
  • Try to minimize your own anxiety.  Model confidence and excitement for your student.  
  • Don’t stay too long.  Reassure your child that you will be back and say a quick goodbye, lingering will only make it more difficult for your child to see you go.  As wrenching as it may be for you to walk away while your child is sad or crying, chances are that she will be happily playing soon after you are out of sight.  (We love to love on your children – keep calm and let a kindergarten teacher handle it.)
  • Identify his anxiety.  What exactly is he afraid of?  Once you establish what his specific fears are you will be better able to address his concerns and work with your child and ACS staff to find ways to handle them.

Ideas adapted from: 
          Lee, Katherine.  "Calming First Day Kindergarten Anxiety."  About Parenting.  Web. 13 
          August 2014.

See you soon,

Welcome 2016-2017 Kindergartners!

What you've heard is true, we ARE a family at here at Achieve.  I love the way this blog outlines what happy families do differently - happy families go out of their way for each other, stick together through thick and thin, allow each member to be true to themselves, communicate, keep promises, take responsibility for happiness, and practice patience and forgiveness.  Being a part of the Achieve family over the last 10+ years I've had the privilege to participate in  this particular kind of school family.  ACS is a learning environment which seeks learners at their level and empowers them to reach the next, supports students and families in the everyday struggles of life, a place where each child is believed in, poured into and held accountable to high expectations.  You are now a part of this family, and I'm so thankful that your child gets to experience Achieve.

  • Our first opportunity to meet will be during our Parent/Teacher/Student Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) Conferences in August.  Check out this BLOG POST to learn how to prepare for your child's PLP.
  • K Orientation is August 15th, from 9-11am.  This will be your child's first time to meet fellow classmates and get a little snapshot of a day in kindergarten at ACS.  Uniforms optional.  Parents are encouraged to slip out as soon as their child feels comfortable.
  • The first 3 days of school August 17th-19th are half days for kindergarten students, school dismisses at 12:30pm.  We will begin our full-day schedule on Monday, August 22nd.
  • Stop by the school office to pick up a Parent Driver Application and fingerprinting paperwork if you're interested in being a field trip driver.
  • I've created a private, closed Facebook Group for our class.  Join to get connected with other K families.  Throughout the year this will be a great resource for event reminders and to reschedule your help times if you are unable to keep your regularly scheduled time.   

  • Familiarize yourself with our drop-off and pick-up routine:

I look forward to meeting you soon!

Monday, June 15, 2015

What in the world is a PLP?!

As the parent of an incoming kindergartner you are about to add a handful of new acronyms to your lexicon.  While these acronyms won't earn you street cred among texting tweens (LOL), you'll be "in the know" with happenings at Achieve.  

PLP - this stands for a Personalized Learning Plan.  A PLP is essentially a conversation we will begin in kindergarten, the document recording that conversation will be used as a tool for helping your child challenge him/herself through their stay here at Achieve.  PLP’s are a unique feature of ACS, they give teachers a jump start to best meet the educational and personal needs of your student.  We'll revisit this document together throughout the year, noting progress towards academic/social skills, addressing learning gaps, setting goals and noting achievement, and putting students in the driver seat of their own educational journey.  It's a pretty powerful thing to witness end-of-year ACS kindergarten students leading their own PLP Conference discussion - communicating their own well thought out goals for the trimester and life.  

Baby steps.  Here's how to prepare for your family's first PLP Conference:
  • Inform your child that they will get to see their Kindergarten classroom and will meet their teacher Mrs. Wright.  We will sit together at a table to talk for a little bit first, I will ask your child about his/her summer (practice with your child at home!)  After we talk for a few minutes the kindergartner may be excused to play with the toys that are set out on the carpet. 
  • We will continue our conversation, be prepared to share your child's strengths and areas for growth.  Share any food allergies, if your child wears glasses, if he/she is right or left handed, or concerns at this time.  
  • All conferences will last 20 minutes, the next family will be waiting to meet with me afterwards.
  • It is alright to bring siblings to PLP Conferences, however I recommend that you make other arrangements for them for our initial meeting.